What’s On TV Tonight, And How Not To Lose Your Money Gamblin’ On The NBA And NHL Playoffs

  • Matt Rudnitsky

Welcome to SportsGrid’s new, daily feature, where we tell you what sports are on TV tonight. Then, I do my best to help you win some money while watching. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing, and gambling is legal in your jurisdiction. Feel free to tweet hateful things at me if my advice moves you to do so. TV games are often the toughest games to find an edge on, so don’t go crazy, people. If I do recommend a bet, I’ll keep track of it, so you can tell me how awful (or wonderful?) I am. For record-keeping, we’ll assume a standard bet is $10. Occasionally, there will be 2x or 3x bets, maybe 4 or 5 if I’m feeling spunky. Good luck, America!

0-4, -$40 yesterday. Sick! I’ll be eating leftover Dasani for dinner tonight. Let’s earn some calories for tomorrow.

Important note: Money you make in the playoffs isn’t worth more than money you make in the regular season. Stay disciplined.

NHL Playoffs: Penguins (-158) at Islanders (+148) (7:00 p.m., NBCSN)

The Isles got killed in Game 1, won a close, high-scoring Game 2, and lost a high-scoring Game 3 in overtime. Pittsburgh has 14 goals in three games, and that trend will likely continue. The Pens are capable of shutting down the Isles, but that hasn’t happened the past two games.

I think the line is fair here, but there’s a pretty simple value play to be made, that needs little explanation. It seems a virtual certainty that the Pens score 3+ goals, win or lose. New York knows it can’t win with defense and is content to get into an up-and-down game. Even at a steep -170 price, the Pens team total over isn’t juiced enough. They should move the line to 3.5, at plus-money. I think it’s a much better value than taking Pitt to win, because Marc-Andre Fleury is Marc-Andre Fleurying, hard.

Pens team total OVER 2.5 (-170), $17 to win $10

NHL Playoffs: Canadiens (+120) at Senators (-130) (7:00 p.m., CNBC)

The series has been a bit more up-and-down than expected, because that’s how Montreal plays, and Ottawa is outplaying them even without playing their style. Their penalty kill and goaltending is too good, and at home, they’re one of the best teams in the NHL. I will continue to ride them, and I will continue to ride Craig Anderson, in a non-sexual, purely financial manner.

Senators ML (-130), $10 to win $7.69 AND Canadiens team total UNDER 2.5 (-135), $13.50 to win $10

NHL Playoffs: Canucks (+146) at Sharks (-155) (10:00 p.m., CNBC)

The Sharks are up 3-0, and the Sharks deserve to be up 3-0. They are 18-2-5 at home this year. Vezina Trophy candidate Antti Niemi has a GAA of 1.83 at home, this year. There is no reason to think that the Canucks win, and there is no reason to think that they top 2 goals. These things happen very, very infrequently in San Jose.

Sharks ML (-155), $15.50 to win $10 AND Canucks team total UNDER 2.5 (-155), $15.50 to win $10

NBA Playoffs: Pacers at Knicks (-6) (7:00 p.m., TNT)

The Pacers won Game 1 outright as 5-point underdogs, yet this line has jumped a point. People are presumably expecting better performances for Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith (combined 14-for-43 shooting), which is reasonable. But why did the line jump a point? The Knicks were outplayed.

I think the Knicks win, but I’m not laying six points. If you must bet, I’d take them on the moneyline, perhaps throwing it in a moneyline parlay.

Pass, bros

NBA Playoffs: Grizzlies at Thunder (-2.5) (9:30 p.m., TNT)

By making the Grizzlies just 2.5-point underdogs on the road, oddsmakers are dictating that the Grizzlies are the better team on a neutral court. I agree. I think, even at this price, there’s value on Memphis. I took them at +150 to win the series, and I’d recommend you do the same.

Grizzlies +2.5 (-106), $10 to win $9.52, ML (+125), $1.50 to win $1.88 AND Grizzlies to win series (+150), $40 to win $60 (may hedge bet later in series)

Bonus Bets!

None, enjoy the playoffs.

Record in games actually worth risking money on: 152-104 (+$224.84)

Good luck!

What else is on:


7 p.m. | MLB Network
Detroit at Washington or Atlanta at Cincinnati

8 p.m. | WGN
St. Louis at Chicago Cubs

Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag

Heat photo via; Kings photo via